The Give Something Back scholarship program provides more than just financial support for students and their families. Give Back partners with specific colleges and universities that are academically challenging to ensure that students are receiving the full benefits of their education. Partner schools also vary in means such as size and location. Take a look at the do’s and don’ts we learned from our graduates who have a few years of experience in making monumental life decisions.

  1. Don’t choose a school based off its name.

So often, high schoolers look at a school one time and fall in love, whether it be because of the school’s fame, beautiful campus or location (near or far from families). Take your time to research the school programs and consider other possibilities. Sometimes reputation doesn’t guarantee a good fit.


  1. Don’t choose a school because of its sports team or social reputation.

Though the social aspect of a school is important and appealing, remember that you can still find fun within a campus without involving a large sports following or party scene. Choose a school that will allow you to have fun, but also be serious about your academic work.


  1. Make sure to choose a school that is right for you, not only right for your significant other.

At a young age, we are more inclined to make decisions based off those of our significant other. Remember that a college education is designed to be unique to each individual at the school of their choosing. When choosing a school, focus on what is right for you, not just in close proximity to a partner. When it comes to academics, put yourself first.


  1. Don’t choose a school solely based on your major.

As many as one third of students change their declared major while in college, so it is important to choose a school not solely based off one program. Sometimes a communications or English department will be a good fit even if there isn’t a creative writing program. Some students in the past chose to forfeit the scholarship because they wanted to go to a particular school with a particular program, but the student acquired a mountain of debt. Consider both your academic options and how long it will take to work off that debt before doing so.


  1. Don’t make assumptions about whether or not you will be accepted.

You would be surprised how many people apply for their reach schools and get accepted. Don’t sell yourself short. If there is a place you want to apply to because you think it is right for you, apply. Statistics come from a range of numbers. Don’t doubt your potential to succeed. But also, continue to work hard! You’re in the Give Back program, but you still have to keep your grades up to get into the partner college of your choice.